(Editor's note: The following is a release from the The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.)
The Department of the Army issued a state-by-state analysis of its plans to implement spending cuts under sequestration. The proposed implementation plan would impose furloughs on hundreds of thousands of federal employees, and leave the Army's much larger and costlier contractor workforce relatively untouched.
On average nationwide, the Army wants to furlough nine U.S. Army civilian employees for every one contractor position. This outrageously unfair and disproportionate ratio is far worse in states with the highest concentrations of military installations, such as Alabama, California, Kentucky, Maryland, and Virginia. Seventeen states have a ratio of 19 or 20 to one. The disparities are astounding and unjustifiable.
"Costs for the Defense Department's civilian workforce have held steady during the past 10 years, while spending on service contracts has more than doubled and now tops $200 billion every year," said J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE).
Federal employees have already contributed more than $103 billion toward deficit reduction through a 27-month pay freeze and a quadrupling of retirement system contributions for new employees. Furloughs are self-defeating for the government and would be ruinous for federal employees and their families.
"These civilian employees the Army is targeting are mechanics who repair our tanks and planes, logistics personnel who ensure supplies for combat troops, and acquisition experts who prevent big defense contractors from ripping off taxpayers," Cox said. "There is no reason to favor contractors over these dedicated, modestly paid, and hard-working Army civilians."
"Contractors have waged a mis-information campaign to make agencies believe that no savings can be taken from already-signed contracts. The Army plan suggests that agencies are falling for this nonsense. The fact is, 90 percent of all required cuts can easily come from service contracts."
Defense Contractors: 'We've Already Been Sequestered'
Northern Virginia's Top Contractors: Cuts Would Be 'Devastating'